While taking care of your physical health after a car accident is an absolute must, you should also prioritize your mental health. Not only is your emotional well-being vital to your overall health, but it could also impact when you are able to resume a normal life.
Car accident victims are much more likely to suffer psychological impacts, especially after serious injuries. You may have two primary types of emotional issues after a car accident:
- Anxiety and depression that stems from your physical injuries
- Post-accident trauma, including flashbacks
The Importance of Your Mental Health Following a Car Accident
Although many people shy away from addressing mental health issues and want to think that they are fine, these problems will often not go away on their own. The first step to a full recovery is admitting to yourself that you are not OK and seeking the necessary help.
Monitoring your mental health is exactly what you should do after a car accident. You can talk about your mental health to family or close friends, and you should not be worried about being judged. It is helpful to speak with people who have been through a similar experience before to learn how they coped with it themselves.
If you are suffering from any type of mental health issue, you should seek out a mental health treatment provider for a consultation. It is helpful to go through ongoing mental health counseling as you seek to mentally recover from the car accident.
If you begin seeking psychological counseling, you should stick with it for as long as possible until you feel better. You should also accept that you may never completely recover mentally and work with licensed mental health professionals to help you develop coping mechanisms for your new normal.
Get as Much Help as You Can in All Areas (Including Legal)
Another way to help you mentally recover from a car accident is to focus on yourself and your health during this period. If you have any other responsibilities after a car accident, you should seek to get as much help as possible.
For example, stress from the legal process could impact how quickly you recover. You can reduce the burden on yourself by hiring an experienced car accident lawyer to handle the details of the legal process.
Your lawyer’s help can free you up to focus on what you need to do after the accident. Not having to handle your claim yourself can ease your burden and allow you to take care of yourself.
If you suffer emotional distress or psychological difficulties in the aftermath of a car accident, you are entitled to full financial compensation for this suffering. These are considered part of your non-economic damages for which the responsible driver must pay.
However, there are always challenges in proving and quantifying these damages when you file a claim. The insurance company will usually downplay or deny your emotional distress. You should document your emotional distress and pain and suffering after the car accident through medical records and by keeping a journal. Treatment notes from a therapist or mental health provider can help prove your damages.
The Insurance Company Will Try to Minimize Your Issues
The insurance company does not know your story, nor do they want to. They will do whatever they can to minimize your damages so that they can pay you less. They will likely try to assign a computer formula to determine pain and suffering, ignoring the actual effects on you of the accident. You almost always need to fight for your pain and suffering damages to get full and fair financial compensation.
Hiring an experienced lawyer can help tell your side of the story. If they do not make you a fair settlement offer, you can take your case to court and let the jury make a final decision.
Not only should you seek mental health treatment for your well-being, but it may also be vital to your legal case. If you do not actively seek treatment for mental health issues after a car accident, the insurance company will have a legitimate ground to question your actual damages. They will claim that you failed to mitigate your damages by not seeking help.
If you are claiming any type of emotional distress or pain and suffering damages based on mental health issues, you should have psychological treatment issues to back them up. If your provider has recommended a certain course of treatment, you should be careful to follow their recommendations to the letter.
Call a Wilmington Car Accident Attorney Today
One of the areas in which an attorney can add value to your case is by helping you come up with an appropriate valuation of your damages. This number would include more subjective items like pain and suffering damages.
The attorneys at Horton & Mendez are experienced Wilmington car accident lawyers who help clients in all aspects of their legal cases — physically, emotionally, and financially. To schedule your free initial consultation, call us today at (910) 668-8067 or send us a message online.
Car Accident Compensation FAQs
How does the insurance company select a pain and suffering multiplier?
Their multiplier will be based on what they believe to be the severity of your physical injuries, and they will apply this number to your medical bills.
How do I put myself in a position to receive car accident compensation?
You must prove that someone else was negligent in order for them to have a legal obligation to pay you damages.